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Disaster in the Pacific: New Light on the…

Disaster in the Pacific: New Light on the Battle of Savo Island

by Denis Ashton Warner

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A quick but well documented book that takes advantage of newly(1992) released info from Aust military archives and Japanese resources to review the Battle of Savo Island. Takes issue with Morison blaming RAAF recon flight failure to send sighting message by documenting receipt in several places including by the Japanese ships being reported. Refutes Fletcher's run to safety because his ships needed fuel by revealing from logs that the carriers had at least 3 days. Supports other sources that identify that K Turner was willing at Guadalcanal and later at Saipan to bail out with his ships and leave the landing forces unsupported by materiel and reinforcements, Suggest that the early books and reports were less a coverup for the admirals than a need to demonstrate that allies could work together, Low opinions by allied leadership for the quality of Japanese Navy training and night figting ca/pabilities as well as really fouled up communication and command decisions were the more likely reasons for the this early Pacific naval disaster. ( )
  jamespurcell | May 6, 2008 |
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In the early morning hours of 9 August 1942 a Japanese task force moved swiftly and quietly into the Solomons and unleashed a murderous barrage of shells and torpedoes on U.S. and Allied naval ships, sinking four cruisers and killing more than 1,000 sailors. In examining every aspect of this disturbing story. Denis and Peggy Warner tell a tale of Japanese mastery of surprise, night fighting, and unbelievable unpreparedness and bungling on the part of the Allies. This. book answers many questions about the disaster that have never before been addressed. The Warners verify that an Australian pilot on the morning of 8 August spotted the approaching Japanese fleet and radioed a warning that was received immediately by Allied commanders and the Japanese. Why, then, did Samuel Eliot Morison in his massive official history of the naval war state that the pilot failed to break radio silence? Why did Admiral Fletcher pull his protective. carrier force away from the area of the battle a short time before it took place? Why was the captain of the USS Vincennes, though expecting the Japanese ships, asleep when they arrived? Why was a junior officer on the USS Quincy dismissed as hysterical when he identified scout planes as Japanese? Why did the results of the "informal inquiry" into the disaster remain classified until 1981? Answers to all of these questions and many more are provided in this dramatic, exhaustively researched account. Stalking the facts relentlessly in the official records of the United States and Australia, in unofficial reports and interviews, and in Japanese documents with the help of Commander Sadao Seno, the Warners have written what will remain for the foreseeable future the definitive history of the Battle of Savo Island.… (more)

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